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An Insider’s Guide to September Events in the Hudson Valley

USS Slater / Photo courtesy of Discover Albany

Hudson River tourism directors share their top picks for places to go, sights to see, and things to do throughout September.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. There are a ton of things to do in the Hudson Valley each month. Even in the face of the coronavirus, there exist dozens upon dozens of ways to experience the best of what the region has to offer. While they might not be traditional per se (virtual book festivals, anyone?), they are engaging, entertaining, and 100-percent #flattenthecurve-approved.

To help scout out the best events in the Valley, we reached out to local tourism directors from Albany to Westchester for their top picks for things to do. Check out their selections, then get planning!

Albany County

Discover Albany President and CEO Jill Delaney shares her top recommendations for the month.

USS Slater / Photo courtesy of Discover Albany

Tour the USS Slater DE766

Intersection of Broadway and Quay St, Albany
Wednesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Now through the end of November, the USS Slater docks in downtown Albany for visitor tours. The last Destroyer Escort afloat in America, the ship is open for one-hour tours with social distancing regulations in place.

Third Annual Albany Book Festival

September 10-24

The New York State Writers Institute book festival takes a turn online this year, with talks, panels, workshops, and more scheduled over the course of the event. As a plus, all programming is free and open to the public.

Harvest Craft Fair

Shaker Heritage Society, Albany
September 12-13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Get into the autumn spirit at the Shaker Heritage Society’s craft fair this month. Head to the center for shopping from local vendors, pony rides, and wandering musicians. Vendors will be spaced 12 feet apart outside to ensure safety, with masks required and pay-what-you-will tickets available online.

Hollowed Harvest

Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont
Beginning September 25

We blinked, and Halloween festivities arrived in the Hudson Valley. In the Capital District, Hollowed Harvest kicks off the spooktacular celebrations with more than 7,000 jack o’ lanterns shaped into stunning landscapes, dinosaurs, zombies, castles, and more. Tickets must be purchased online in advance to attend.

Columbia County

Read up on Columbia County Tourism’s highlights for things to do in the Hudson Valley this month.

Photo courtesy of Columbia County Tourism

Festival of Books

September 5 – October 12

The literary festivities continue in Columbia County, thanks to Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Festival of Books. The celebration occurs online this year, with everything from a special book sale to conversations with notable authors and children’s drawing workshops on deck. Online attendance is free, although registration is required since there are a limited number of spots.

Samascott’s Corn Maze

Beginning the first week of September
Samascott’s Garden Market, Kinderhook

There’s no better way to welcome the arrival of autumn in the Hudson Valley than with a stroll through Samascott’s larger-than-life corn maze. Open beginning the first week in September and running through November, the maze spans seven acres and takes the form of a different design every year.

Dutchess County

Take a peek at Dutchess Tourism, Inc.’s top picks for things to do in Dutchess County this month.

Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

WE RISE Poughkeepsie

Throughout Poughkeepsie
September 4-19

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, Poughkeepsie galleries, organizations, artists, and activists band together to celebrate women’s right to vote. Visit the event’s Facebook page for news about upcoming exhibits, movie screenings, performances, and panels planned both in-person and virtually throughout the month.

Hard Scrabble Day

September 12, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Historic Red Hook presents Hard Scrabble Day online as a fun way to unite the community. Head to the web for farm tours, paint parties, and children’s yoga presented by some of Red Hook’s most beloved businesses.

Milea Estate Vineyard / Photo courtesy of Dutchess Tourism, Inc.

Hudson Valley Wine and Food Fest

September 12-13
One of the Hudson Valley’s top foodie fests goes virtual for its 19th year. The online event will be similar in structure to the in-person one, with booths for every vendor and cooking demos and wine seminars presented by chefs and wine pros. Keep

Greene County

Look no further for the coolest attractions and activities in Greene County during the month.

The Old Game Farm Self-Guided Tours

The Old Game Farm, Catskill
September 5,19

The Hudson Valley’s iconic Catskill Game Farm, now known as The Old Game Farm, opens its doors to visitors during special self-guided tour days to explore the grounds that once served as home to more than 2,000 animals. Spread across 150 acres, the old zoo is a treasure trove for memorabilia and more than a few childhood memories.

Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Tours

September 12
Athens Riverfront Park, Athens

Anyone who can’t get enough of the Hudson Valley’s lighthouses will want to jump on this tour. Offered by the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse Preservation Society, the tour is one of four that the organization hosts in 2020. Attendees can delve into the history of the lighthouse and learn more about those individuals who operated it. Masks are required to enter, with social distancing precautions in place both on the boat and at the lighthouse.

Annual “Tour of the Catskills” Pro-Am Bicycle Road Race

September 20

Calling all adrenaline junkies! The 13th annual Tour of the Catskills returns to Tannersville with full COVID-19 safety protocol in place. There’s a 500-person participation limit with a maximum of six-person groups at the start. Registration is online-only, with rolling starts and time windows to decrease the number of people at the start.

Orange County

Check out Orange County Tourism Director Amanda Dana’s selections for the best things to do this month.

Drive Thru Animal Sanctuary

Saturdays and Sundays through September 13, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Blue Arrow Farm, Pine Island

Blue Arrow Farm gets creative with a drivable tour this summer. Families can cruise through to say to the horses, llamas, and pigs onsite and even bring baby carrots to throw to the animals. Before heading home, a stop to pick up some of the farm’s signature honey and coffee is a must.

Hudson Valley Seafood Truck Festival

Orange County Farmers Museum, Montgomery
September 5-6, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Yes, Hudson Valley Seafood Fest is still on! To keep visitors safe, the fest takes on a drive-through format filled with bites like Maine lobster boils, lobster rolls, baked clams, and peel-and-eat shrimp. Takeout is available, too, so there’s something to suit everyone’s comfort levels.

6th Annual Hudson Valley Fiesta Latina

Museum Village, Monroe
September 12, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Make a trip to Museum Village for a free family festival designed to celebrate diversity while incorporating Latin culture. Get ready for a day filled with food, fun, and education in Orange County.

3rd Annual Oktoberfest

Sugar Loaf Engine Company, Chester
September 19, 3-8 p.m.

Mark your calendars, Hudson Valley! Oktoberfest is happening in Chester. Throughout the day, attendees can dig into hot dogs, bratwurst, soft pretzels, and more while sipping on German brews. Whiskey Riot will be onsite for tunes during the day, with cornhole, giant Jenga, and other games available for playing.

Mid-Orange Correctional Facility Ghost Hunt

September 25-26, 8:30 p.m. – 4 a.m.
Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, Warwick

Embrace the pre-Halloween spirit with a chilling, thrilling ghost hunt at Warwick’s Mid-Orange Correctional Facility. Book a visit for vigils alone or with experienced investigators and make use of the techy EMF readers to try to discover the secrets of the space.

Putnam County

Read up on Putnam County Tourism Director Tracey L. Walsh’s picks for things to do this month.

Candles at Jar Worthy

Jar Worthy, Carmel

Putnam County’s dedicated candle shop is a dream for anyone who loves the soft glow of a flame at night. After beginning as a kitchen operation in 2014, the store is now a hub for handcrafted candles, soaps, scrubs, and lotions. For those with allergies, the all-natural soy candle base burns beautifully.

Hudson River Healing & Wellness Visit

Hudson River Healing & Wellness, Cold Spring

Unwind during a trip to Cold Spring’s meditative retreat this month. Whether that means relaxing in the salt room, treating yourself to Thai bodywork, or booking a massage, the Putnam County escape has it all.

View this post on Instagram

Discover the world of Italian art in the Hudson Valley @magazzino in Cold Spring. This video shows the current Arte Povera exhibition @magazzino. It is an ongoing exhibition since March 1, 2018 with new works added in early 2020. This exhibition represents the Olnick Spanu Collection's core of Post-war Italian art, allowing the space to be an environment solely devoted to this generation of Italian artists. Magazzino is closed until further notice. To learn more or discover the museum's online resources, visit www.magazzino.art. Credit: Exhibition Arte Povera at Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring, New York. Video by Angelo Vasta. © 2020 Magazzino Italian Art Foundation.

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Magazzino Italian Art Tours

Magazzino Italian Art, Cold Spring
Thursdays – Mondays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cold Spring’s Italian art museum is back up and running with social distancing technology and safety protocol in place. Book a tour online to explore the world of Italian art right here in the Hudson Valley.

Collaborative Concepts Outdoor Art

Tilly Foster Farm, Brewster
Beginning September 5

Collaborative Concepts relocates to Tilly Foster Farm for its 15th annual sculpture show this year. Spread across 199 rolling acres, the large-scale show is a delight for sculpture fans who want to get out and stretch their legs in the scenic Hudson Valley.

Rockland County

Take a browse through Director of Economic Development and Tourism Jeremy Schulman’s picks the hottest things to do in Rockland County throughout the month.

Nyack Boat Charter

Nyack Boat Charter, Nyack

Ever dreamed of coasting along the Hudson River waters? Now’s your chance, thanks to Nyack Boat Charter. The Rockland County business offers sailing, of course, but it also has powerboating, tubing, wake boarding, and even Fliteboarding for locals who are looking for extra adventure.

Rockland Cider Works at the Farm

Van Houten Farms, Orangeburg
Mon 3-8 p.m., Tues-Sat 12-8 p.m., Sun 12-7 p.m.

Rockland County’s only cidery invites Hudson Valleyites over for hard cider tastings at the farm’s outdoor oasis. Stop by for a signature cider or dare your taste buds to try one of the small batch varieties on offer. Peanut butter cider, anyone?

Walk or Bike Along the Mario. M. Cuomo Bridge

Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, South Nyack

If you haven’t strolled your way across the Hudson Valley’s newest bridge path, then September is most definitely the month to plan a visit. Enter from the Rockland Landing, then make sure to stop at each of the six overlooks to take in the views and ogle the local art.

Weekend Wine Tastings at Torne Valley Vineyards

Torne Valley Vineyards, Hillburn
Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Make the most of the vino paradise that is the Hudson Valley with a weekend wine tasting in Hillburn. Torne Valley pours wine alongside meals outside, making it the perfect place to spend an end-of-summer afternoon.

Ulster County

Read up on Ulster County Tourism’s event highlights for the month.

Apples at Hurds / Photo courtesy of Ulster County Tourism

Apple Picking at Hurds Family Farm

Hurds Family Farm, Modena

Autumn isn’t complete without at least one trip to a Hudson Valley apple farm. At Hurds, apple picking partners with onsite dining and family agritainment for a day that visitors of all ages will adore. Don’t want to make the full visit? Hurds offers drive-up pickup for apple cider donuts, apples, and slushies, too.

Hudson River Maritime Museum Visit

Fridays to Sundays, 12-5 p.m.
Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston

Hudson Valleyites will be happy to hear that Kingston’s maritime museum is back in action and ready to welcome visitors. Hours are limited to the weekends, so plan ahead to make the most of the fascinating exhibits currently on display.

Art Walk Kingston

September 26-27, 12-5 p.m.

Art colors the Ulster County community during Art Walk Kingston at the end of the month. Held over the course of two days, the event invites Hudson Valleyites to explore private exhibition spaces, galleries, and a special online gallery to discover works ranging from paintings and photographs to drawings and sculptures.

The Dorsky Museum Virtual Family Day

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz
September 27, 2 p.m.

While the museum prepares to reopen to the public beginning September 12, it keeps up virtual programming with Family Days on Zoom. Artist Ben Pinder hosts September’s event, which operates along a “choose your own adventure” format to allow participants the chance to craft their own story around a mythic American landscape.

Woodstock Film Festival / Photo courtesy of Ulster County Tourism

Woodstock Film Festival

Multiple locations
September 30 – October 4

A favorite fall happening in the Hudson Valley, the Woodstock Film Festival adapts to keep film aficionados happy and safe. Festival tickets range in price so attendees can pick and choose between online screenings, drive-in showings, Q&As with filmmakers, and panels with industry leaders. Head to the website to scout out the full lineup.

Westchester County

Discover the hottest happenings according to Westchester County Tourism this month.

Bicycle Sundays

Bronx River Parkway, White Plains to Yonkers
Sundays in September

A tradition since 1974, Bicycle Sundays are a chance for bicyclists, skaters, joggers, and walkers to traverse the 13.1-mile loop along the Bronx River Parkway between White Plains and Yonkers. During these times, the roads are closed to motor vehicles to ensure participant safety.

Ice Cream Stops

Summer may come to a close this month, but a love of local ice cream lives on at Westchester’s scoop shops. With everything from classic cones and stacked sundaes to Italian gelato and Mexican paletas, the perfect icy treat awaits in the Hudson Valley.

120th U.S. Golf Open

Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck

September 14-20

After much buzz about the U.S. Open’s location in the Hudson Valley, the much-anticipated event kicks off this month. While the Open takes place in Mamaroneck, the venue is not open to fans. To keep up with the Hudson Valley action, locals can tune in beginning September 14 to see if they can spot the familiar greens on the big screen.

This is a view of the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson on October 12, 2015. (Photo by Tom Nycz) / Courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley

The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze

Van Cortlandt Manor, Croton-on-Hudson
Beginning September 18

The Blaze is back! The Hudson Valley’s electrifying Halloween event fills the grounds at Van Cortlandt Manor with more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’ lanterns in a variety of haunting shapes and sculptures. To ensure social distancing, advance reservations are required.